Old 29th May 2019, 07:23
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: melbourne
Age: 54
Posts: 415
The Temporay base location

Following on from my previous thread, and the document I have posted above, you will see how CASA initially pursued a path of using the Aviation Ruling and our Temporary base procedure. As that line of attack failed, they moved to audit results from Latrobe Valley that were proven to be in error. The argument them moved to content of the contracts, then moved to a requirement for signed contracts, and that has now moved on to the content of the contract again, which I am still awaiting CASA direction on.

For this post let me deal with the Temporary locations. The background to this is that for as long as I recall Flying Schools have been able to use a "temporary locations" procedure. This facilitated flying schools running operations from a different location than their main base, for short term use.

During the APTA design stage I worked with a CASA team referred to as CMT 2. These personnel were well intentioned, and had a good grasp of APTA and CASA material. The conversation at the time went very similar to;

APTA "Once we put in an application for a new base to join us, how long do you anticipate it would take CASA to process the application so that we can activate the base"

CASA "Approximately 6 to 8 weeks, but in the interim you could activate them through a " Temporary locations procedure, while CASA makes their assessment. That will facilitate continuing operations.

APTA; That's great, lets go down that path.

So in the design stage we adopted the recommended CASA procedure initially which is extracted from CASAs own guidance material and please make note of that fact, as it will become more pertinent later in this post. We placed that into our manuals and adopted that procedure. Under CASAs very own procedure, that we adopted in our manuals they approved bases under that procedure, so I reasonably felt that CASAs own procedure was acceptable. In November 2017, we underwent a Level 1 CASA audit, being the highest level audit, and that audit included the bases and no concerns were raised at all by CASA at that time.

Then as you are aware and without any prior concern expressed, CASA hit me with that notification suggesting I was in breach by using that procedure, which lead to a meeting in the CASA Office. This time under a different CMT as CASA had initiated a change of CMT oversighting APTA.

The new Regional Manager made a statement, that he had legal advice that the Temporary locations procedure was not intended for flying schools. That surprised me. We then advised that is the guidance we had received from CASA CMT 2. The FOI demanded "Did you get that in writing'. At this stage it became apparent that the CASA personnel I was dealing with were not familiar with their own guidance material.

I have made multiple requests to CASA over the last 7 months to explain what is the breach, that attracts the restricted date of operations.

How can I possibly have a breach, if CASA offered the procedure, CASA approved it, then approved bases under the procedure, and then audited us on it, and then does not explain the issue to me. I cannot fix something up unless I know what is wrong. The procedure has been around for years

This entire matter appears to me to be somewhat confusing. A couple of interesting side issues. Our first base under the procedure was quoted as a 5 hour task, which we paid CASA the fee for, and in fact it took them almost a year to process. Thankyou CMT for suggesting a well intentioned, compliant, tested procedure, so that particular base didn't have to wait 10 months to be activated.

I have cut and pasted the CASA suggested procedure below, and attached our procedure as it is somewhat larger than, and perhaps more robust than CASAs suggestion.

"Where flying training activities are required to be conducted at an alternate location from the company's main training base, the following matters must be considered:
1. Exposition change management procedures
2. Instructor familiarity with the
a) aerodrome;
b) local operating procedures; and
c) risks associated with operating at that aerodrome.
3. Aerodrome suitability for the task, including:
a) other users of the aerodrome
b) physical dimensions and characteristics, in respect to the types of aircraft proposed to be operated
c) preference for the use of registered or certified aerodromes;
and) if an ALA is to be used, the advice in paragraphs 4B6.7 and 4B6.8 must be considered, in addition to the other considerations listed in this section.
4. The availability of suitable facilities and services such as:
a) flight planning, briefing and crew rest and refreshment areas
b) fuel
c) aircraft parking areas
d) aircraft maintenance services.
e) NOTAM and weather services
f) communication ability with operational headquarters and other relevant agencies such as:- Fire services- Ambulance- Police- Aerodrome owner- Airservices Australia. "

I am confident that the Temporary Loactions procedure in the attachment is equal to the best practice in the industry

Last edited by glenb; 29th May 2019 at 07:54.
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